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Old 12-06-2017, 08:32 AM
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The Queen's Messenger revisited

Among the many Radio News articles recently added to the ETF site is one from December, 1928 called Television Makes the Radio Drama Possible. I think they got that backwards, but that's the title.

Anyway, it turns out to be an article about GE's broadcast of The Queens Messenger over WGY and goes into great detail about both staging and technical aspects. What may come as a surprise is definite and repeated references to using 24-line apparatus. This confirms what I had long suspected but had been told was not the case. Apparently they had no choice due to restriction to a 5kHz broadcast bandwidth. The same article later talks about the 48-line standard being developed for projection use.

It really makes sense when you think about it. While 48 lines is still acutely lacking in detail, it would have been sufficient to stage the two actors at a table manipulating their own props. Only at 24 lines would such extreme closeups be necessary.
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Old 12-06-2017, 10:32 PM
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This is neat. But 24 lines? I think I'd rather listen to a radio show. No wonder so many people thought it'd never catch on.
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Old 12-07-2017, 04:53 AM
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:12 AM
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You often see examples of what the picture looked like under optimum conditions, which wasn't very good to begin with. I heard this wasn't the case for the typical viewer and it was a terribly crude picture. Very quickly the large manufacturers like RCA knew that to make television happen would require full-electronic development.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:25 AM
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JL Baird didn't get the memo.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Roper View Post
JL Baird didn't get the memo.
Ha! He sure didn't.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:09 PM
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Some 45-line cartoons (3:1 interlace) from the set at the Early Television Museum. The picture is extremely dim and must be viewed in a completely dark room:







The Narrow Band TV Association in England has a very good 32 line image of one of its members made with mechanical scanning and modern electronics:
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:43 PM
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I bet the neon bulbs couldn't be switched fast enough to make a decent picture, and it doesn't help that their lack of intensity kind of makes everything bleed together anyway.

They had some systems that used mercury vapor bulbs though... plenty bright, but I wonder what the switching capability was like.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:05 PM
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The flat plate bulbs in the Baird receiver and even the RCA 60 line receiver worked fast enough. The Early Television Museum has a working 60 line flying spot camera and receiver, which do give all the resolution possible at 60 lines, and is quite viewable (at least for one person at a time). A Western 45 line direct view set may have been just as good, but I have not seen one in operation. The pictures above are from the Museum's projection console. This used a neon crater lamp and a scanning disk with 45 lenses to project the scanning spots on a ground glass, instead of a flat plate tube and a disk with simple holes as used for direct drive. I don't know if the crater lamp was inherently harder to drive fast, or if the video amplifier was not as good as it could be, but it is certainly true that the brightness as demonstrated at the museum is impractically low.

I don't recall hearing about the use of mercury vapor bulbs, and I wonder if they were flat plate or point source (or line source for mirror-screw receivers).

Edit - I do recall different color bulbs being used for color TV experiments.
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Old 12-08-2017, 03:00 AM
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The mercury vapor ones I heard of were made by that one company that hung on to mechanical tv well after electronic was already for sale to the public. The name escapes me at the moment, but they had a ~400 line mechanical tv. I believe it used a spinning drum and projected onto a screen. A large screen... like 24" or so.

EDIT: Scophony
Although... looking into it, I don't think the light would switch at all... which certainly explains how you'd get any kind of arc lamp to switch so fast... you wouldn't.

Last edited by MadMan; 12-08-2017 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:01 PM
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Dave,
I have in my notes for the World Converter that GE was using 24/20p 6:5 in 1928 for the Octagon sets. It shows the 48/20p 6:5 was 1931 for GE. The only original Octagon I've seen was Jeff L's. Dennis Asseman made his reproduction for 48 line.

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Old 12-08-2017, 06:04 PM
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Just a side note, but the Octagon at the Ford museum in Michigan had a disk with square scanning holes. Maximum brightness and minimum line structure, I imagine.
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Old 12-09-2017, 04:58 AM
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Darryl,

Was that Jeff's Octagon at the 2004 ETF convention? That one was 48-line as well. It would be interesting to know if the Henry Ford set retained its 24 hole disc, but it seems unlikely.

It's been almost three years, but I would have sworn there was unanimity about 48 lines for QM in discussions following the presentation that was given.

There sure is online--somebody added that to both Wikipedia and IMDB.
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Old 12-09-2017, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Roper View Post
Darryl,

Was that Jeff's Octagon at the 2004 ETF convention? That one was 48-line as well. It would be interesting to know if the Henry Ford set retained its 24 hole disc, but it seems unlikely.

It's been almost three years, but I would have sworn there was unanimity about 48 lines for QM in discussions following the presentation that was given.

There sure is online--somebody added that to both Wikipedia and IMDB.
Dave,
I had to go back and check my emails and Jeff's set is 48 line but everything I had written down shows they were originally 24. I can't put my hands on my notes right now from where that figure came from. If I come across the documents I'll post them.

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